Star Pass Loop: Most scenic ride in CB? (22 July 2014)

(Last Updated On: July 25, 2014)

Star Pass is one of those places you don’t forget. The scenery is stunning and rivals our most famous mountain biking trail, 401. So, when my friends asked me to join them on a Star Pass Loop bike ride, I decided to chance it, even though I knew the timing would be tight for me to fit it in before work.

Chrissy and Heather began from town just after 8 am. I began at the same time from Brush Creek trailhead, leaving a car there so I could use it to get to work faster at the end of the ride. From there, we rode down HWY 135 to Cement Creek Road, taking the Cement Creek Trail (which parallels the road) when it was available. The upper Cement Creek Trail was beautiful and full of wildflowers.
Upper Cement Creek trail near Crested Butte

Heather riding upper Cement Creek Trail with flowers all around her.
Heather McDowell mountain biking Upper Cement Creek Trail near Crested Butte

The trail was surrounded by low-lying wildflowers.
Upper Cement Creek trail near Crested Butte

Heather riding, with Hunter’s Hill in the distance.
Mountain biking Upper Cement Creek trail near Crested Butte

After the Upper Cement Creek Trail ended, we followed the Cement Creek road for a couple of miles to the Crystal Peak Trail (583), which ascended steeply.
Crystal Peak Trail near Crested Butte

Crystal Peak trail near Crested Butte

The trail was steep enough and the dirt loose enough to warrant walking a few times.
Crystal Peak trail near Crested Butte

But, it was hard not to pause to admire the unusual foliage. The alien-style plants in this photo are actually “musk thistles”.
Musk thistle on Crystal Peak Trail near Crested Butte

We were able to ride our way up the last bit of Crystal Peak trail to the saddle.
Mountain biking Crystal Peak trail

Chrissy.
Mountain Biking Crystal Peak trail near Crested Butte

The views on the Crystal Peak trail saddle were well-worth the climb. Star Peak and Taylor with alpine sunflowers in the foreground.
Star Peak and Taylor Peak by Crested Butte

Looking toward Italian from the saddle.

Heather, Chrissy, and Me on top of the Crystal Peak trail saddle.

After a short break, we began traversing over to Star Pass. Heather.
Mountain biking Star pass near Crested Butte

Chrissy.
Mountain biking Star pass near Crested Butte

Heather riding the last pitch to the pass.
Mountain biking Star pass near Crested Butte

Looking back toward the Crystal Peak trail saddle.
Mountain biking Star Pass near Crested Butte

The views from Star Pass were also spectacular.
Mountain biking Star Pass near Crested Butte

There, I had to leave Heather and Chrissy. It was time for me to hustle my way to work, while Chrissy and Heather would take a more leisurely approach to the descent. The good thing – it was ALL downhill from here….. for the most part. I began descending trail 400 (Brush Creek Trail) solo.

A look back toward Star Pass. If you look close, you can still see Chrissy and Heather enjoying the cloudless day.
Mountain biking Star Pass near Crested Butte

This trail also had its beautiful moments.
Mountain biking trail 400 near Crested Butte

Eventually, I descended into the forest.
Mountain biking trail 400 near Crested Butte

And I continued onward…

to meet up with Brush Creek Road which I followed back to my parked car…. arriving just in time to make it to work:)

Star Pass is one of my favorite areas for mountain biking. I love being able to ride a fairly long distance in the high alpine. Is it the most beautiful ride in Crested Butte? Quite possibly. But, you should come find out for yourself 🙂

Star Pass Alternatives

The Star Pass Loop is quite a long ride. It took me 6 hours to complete this loop (including rest stops), and 7 hours for my friends to complete. Additionally, well over half the miles and nearly half the time is spent riding on a road. I prefer to spend more time riding single track if possible. The Star Pass / Hunter Creek combo we discovered last year is a great alternative as it travels almost entirely on single track and is considerably shorter.

Which do I prefer? I prefer Star Pass / Hunter Creek. Why? Less road! And the descent on Hunter Creek is steeper and more technical than trail 400 (Brush Creek Trail).

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things,Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate 🙂 Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

Latest posts by Brittany Walker Konsella (see all)

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things, Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate :) Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

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